Bishops against prayer

Episcopal bishops in the US are complaining that politicians are calling for prayer after the murder of many in the congregation at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. In a pronouncement whose role-reversal irony evades the bishops – as we all know bishops are renowned for being politicians-manqué – the bishops want action not prayer. Prayer is the job of bishops because only bishops have the wisdom to deliver the carefully nuanced incense-laced leftist propaganda to the Almighty necessary for the bishops to attain their political ambitions.

The problem, the bishops intone, is not the obvious one of a church which has ceased to affirm and preach the principles of its founder and thus has encouraged evil to flourish, but the 2nd Amendment.

Having given up on the job of leading people to Christ in order for him to transform the evil present within all of us, our bishops busy themselves with affirming our fallen nature, gasping with horror at the inevitable result, and attempt to limit the unavoidable damage by demanding politicians remove the external means we use to do that damage.

From here:

The campaign group United Against Gun Violence, which brings together more than 70 bishops from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, has challenged the country’s leaders to act following the November 5 shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which resulted in the deaths of 26 people.

[…]

In the U.S., efforts to limit widespread gun ownership have been repeatedly thwarted by a highly-financed and effective gun-lobby that promotes the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which grants a right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment was ratified in 1791—eight years after the American War of Independence, and states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Regardless of its original intent, it is seen today by the gun lobby as the right for U.S. citizens to own, possess and carry weapons—including assault rifles. And despite a very large number of mass-shooting incidents, politicians appear unable—or unwilling—to take action to limit the number of weapons in circulation.

[…]

Now the bishops have criticized political leaders for being quick to call people to pray following such shootings, while being slow to take action to prevent them.

“In the wake of the heartbreaking shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, we find ourselves both calling people to prayer, and wishing that the word did not come so readily to the lips of elected leaders who are quick to speak, but take no action on behalf of public safety,” the bishops said.

Bishops playing politics

From here:

Some 125 Episcopal Church bishops signed a full-page ad that ran Sept. 21 in the New York Times, imploring President Donald Trump and member of Congress not to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program known as DACA.

“To do so would endanger the lives of thousands of young people and their families and run contrary to the faith and moral traditions of our country,” wrote 122 bishops, along with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and 25th Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold. “It is unfair to threaten the well-being of young people who arrived in our country as children through no choice of their own.”

As you can see, the compassion of Anglican bishops knows no bounds.

Very soon we can expect Episcopal cathedrals, emptied of congregants driven out for non-compliance with Doublethink, to be filled with DACA victims, potential DACA victims and pretend DACA victims. Katharine Jefferts Schori will be housing at least ten personally in her home. Michael Curry, who earns over $280,000 annually placing him squarely among the despised 1 percenters, will be donating most of it to homeless migrants and will vacate his bishop’s residence to make room for ten more.

Frank Griswold has been asked to take in yet more illegal immigrants but is still working on the deeper hermeneutical meaning of the words take and in.

Remember, though, the main thing is to hate Trump with all the inclusive vitriolic loathing that this elite cadre of dog-collared oven mitt wearing geriatrics can muster. That’s what it means to be a missional church.

The Episcopal Church finally does something useful

I know I tend to be a trifle negative about the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church, implying, at times, that they are nothing but the sub-Christian, desiccated remains of once influential denominations that do little more than give Christianity a bad name, make a laughing stock of their congregants and bring grief and misery to anyone who questions what they see as their divinely appointed mission to empty Christianity of metaphysical coherence.

But today, all that has changed!

Michael Curry, presiding Bishop of TEC, has truly seen into the mind of God and is forging a new path to a future glowing brightly with the transcendent luminosity of harmony, truth and justice. He has signed an amicus brief urging the high court to allow men to use women’s toilets and vice versa. The New Jerusalem is upon is.

Read it all here:

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings are the lead signers on an amicus brief filed March 2 by 1,800 clergy and religious leaders in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving transgender-bathroom use policies.

The “friend of the court” brief comes in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, which the American Civil Liberties Union and its Virginia chapter filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm and his mother, Deirdre Grimm, in June 2015.

The signers urge the high court to see that the ability to live in a country that guarantees transgender equality is a religious freedom issue. They said their faith communities have approached issues related to gender identity in different ways, but are “united in believing that the fundamental human dignity shared by all persons requires treating transgender students like Respondent Gavin Grimm in a manner consistent with their gender identity.”

The Anglican problem condensed into two words – for me

Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, tells us that marrying same-sex couples will continue in TEC because it is not contrary to the core doctrine of the church.

More specifically, he says that “For me, marriage is not part of core doctrine”. Therein lies the problem: he is unconcerned whether marriage is actually part of core doctrine or not because for him it isn’t. Truth is relative, doctrine is solipsistic, what is doctrine for me may not be for you. Objective truth doesn’t exist or is, at best unknowable and irrelevant – at least, it is for him.

No matter how heavily they disguise it as piety, the fact remains that TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have constructed their own perverse doctrinal house of cards; it is already falling about their ears and the faster if falls, the more furiously the bishops, like demented gargoyles, hack at the foundations.

To look on the bright side, though: But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD

From here (my emphasis):

Many believed that marriage is part of core doctrine.  No individual church can change core doctrine.  Many felt that the expansion of who may be married on our part was a change in church doctrine.  Therefore it was in part on that basis that many felt that we had overstepped our authority as a province. I didn’t agree with that but I respect that that was the understanding of many.  For me, marriage is not part of core doctrine. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is core doctrine.  The doctrine of who Jesus Christ is – wholly God and wholly human – is doctrine.  The articles of the Creeds are doctrine.  The Holy Scriptures and the Old and New Testament are core doctrine.  Other sections of the Chicago– Lambeth Quadrilateral are core doctrine. Marriage is a sacramental right, it is a solemn and sacred matter of faith and practice.  But it is not core doctrine.

Has TEC been suspended from the Anglican Communion?

Some say, “yes”:

Capture2

And some say, “no:

Capture

This is what the CofE director of communications (Arun Arora)is referring to:

So, no – the Episcopal Church has not been suspended from or by the Anglican Communion. The fact that the Primates’ approach is problematic regarding issues of human sexuality is another matter. But let us not imagine that these events make TEC “second class Anglicans,” let alone that they remove TEC members from the Communion in any way. They should have little impact on how members of TEC see themselves as part of a wider Communion, a community of Churches with a common history and with an extraordinary scope and richness.

And this is what George Conger is referring to:

An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making bodies, initially for three years.

So is TEC suspended from the Anglican Communion or not? It depends on whether they really are disinvited from the meetings that Archbishop Eliud Wabukala is referring to above; we shall have to wait and see.

I don’t know about you, but the suspense is killing me.

The decline of The Episcopal Church

From here:

Episcopal Church down 24% in ten years

Baptized membership in the Episcopal Church of the USA declined by 29,679 in 2012 to 2,066,710, the Episcopal Church reported on 31 October 2013.

Statistics released by national church showed Average Sunday Attendance declined steadily across [t]he church as well 2.6 per cent in 2012, with 679,923 Episcopalians in church on Sundays.

At least TEC publishes up to date statistics, which is more than can be said for the Anglican Church of Canada whose last published number was in 2007. Then there  were 545,957 people on parish rolls.

If the ratio of church attendees to “membership” is the same in Canada as it is in the US, there would have been 179,613 people attending ACoC churches in 2007; fewer today, of course.

Katharine Jefferts Schori rationalises TEC’s declining membership

From here:

The head of The Episcopal Church has stated that the declining numbers of her denomination could be the work of the Holy Spirit to create “greater fruitfulness.”

TEC Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori made this statement last Thursday in remarks delivered at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh. “Some have judged our smaller numbers as faithlessness but it may actually be the Spirit’s way of pruning for greater fruitfulness,” said Jefferts Schori.

“If we see ourselves standing at the foot of the cross, any such judgment will be far less important than our response.”

Between 2010 and 2011, ELCA membership went from about 4.2 million to just over 4 million, representing a loss of more than 212,000 members. During the same time period, The Episcopal Church had a decrease of over 28,000 members, causing the number of members in its domestic dioceses to dip below the 2 million mark.

Jefferts Schori is clearly confused about which part God is throwing out in all this pruning.

Pruning entails targeted removal of “diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue”, a fitting description of what’s left of TEC, the ACoC, the ECLA and the ELCIC. These liberal denominations are all in rapid decline; they appear to be hell-bent on holding their current course until they finally vanish in a puff of sulphur scented incense.

Those who have fled these institutions are committed Christians now attending growing, healthy, orthodox churches.

Dean Peter Elliot appointed to TEC special task force for church structural reform

It seems that The Episcopal Church, in the name of diversity, wants to “include some persons with critical distance from the Church’s institutional leadership” on its task force. Other than Michael Ingham, I can’t think of anyone less distanced from TEC’s leadership. Peter Elliot is extremely liberal, a partnered homosexual and at the forefront of the Anglican Church of Canada’s rush to become an exclusive church for the alphabet soup community.

From here:

In addition, two partners from other Anglican Communion provinces have been appointed: the Very Rev. Peter Elliott of the Anglican Church of Canada, dean of the Diocese of New Westminster and rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver; and the Rev. Sathianathan Clarke, Th.D., of the Church of South India, who is the Bishop Sundo Kim Chair in World Christianity and professor of theology, culture and mission at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Resolution C095
According to resolution C095, “The membership of the Task Force shall reflect the diversity of the Church, and shall include some persons with critical distance from the Church’s institutional leadership.”

The Episcopal Church exerts pressure to abolish the death penalty

I’ve been ambivalent about the death penalty for a while. On the one hand, if the state has the authority to punish criminals at all – and most would agree it has – why should it not demand the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime?

Alternately, perhaps murderers should be given more time to repent of their crimes and receive salvation through Christ. Of course, as Dr. Johnson observed, the prospect of being hanged in the morning concentrates the mind wonderfully, so a convict’s imminent demise might turn out to be his best friend.

And then there is the possibility of a judicial mistake.

The Episcopal Church is attempting to aid me in my indecision: its leaders are agitating against the death penalty. A sure sign that there must be some merit in it.

From here:

The Episcopal Church officially has opposed the death penalty for more than half a century, and its advocacy is gaining traction as momentum builds across the country to end capital punishment. Bishops and other church leaders are writing letters, joining coalitions, testifying before legislators and publicly demonstrating their opposition to the death penalty.

But now, having just taken a dip in the crystal waters of the Adriatic, I am going to stroll along its shores to the ancient town of Hvar, stop at a cafe, sample the local wine and ponder no more the vacuity of contemporary Episcopal neologisms.

Astonishing news from the Diocese of New Hampshire

The Diocese of New Hampshire has elected a new bishop, Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, and he is not a practising homosexual.

Before anyone jumps to the rash conclusion that the people of New Hampshire have ignored the voice of the spirit and stubbornly elected a heterosexual in an act of unrepentant rebellion, let me assure everyone that as Integrity is quick to reassure us,  at least Rev. Rob is a trusted friend of the LGBT movement.

So there is nothing to worry about. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he self-identifies as a woman well before his ordination; that’s almost as good as being gay.